As I mentioned in the post Women Making a Difference I’ve joined a civic club, Business and Professional Women. At each meeting there is a formal opening, or call to order. As part of the opening, the President recites the mission and purpose of the group.

At today’s meeting it struck me that this reciting of the mission at every meeting is not just for the benefit of visitors or special guests. It’s to remind each member of the reason that they are there. This spoken affirmation of the purpose of the group serves to strengthen the focus and unity of the group. I don’t think the power of this ritual can be underestimated.

Does your group struggle with lack of unity or focus? Do the projects and activities reflect the mission of the organization? The following is a simple 4 step system to strengthen your purpose. Remember to involve not only leadership in this process, but general membership as well.

  1. Review established mission and purpose statements. Evaluate and revise to create a consensus among the members of the group. Even if these statements are not open to being revised, it’s important to have structured discussions about the meaning of the statements. The important thing is to get people talking.
  2. Define objectives and goals to carry out these statements. Evaluate current projects and activities and see if they really measure up to the mission of the organization.
  3. Reinforce the mission and purpose by reciting these statements at meetings. Always measure proposals against these belief statements.
  4. Follow up on activities to see how they helped your group further its mission. Celebrate the accomplishments and show appreciation to participants.

By constantly believing in and reinforcing the mission of the non profit organization, unity of purpose will be strengthened and greater accomplishments will be achieved.

Posted on 26 October 2004

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